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It’s no longer considered a luxury, so most modern cars come with air con. However, like anything else, it needs regular maintenance. If you’re not getting cold air into your vehicle, regassing is the most likely solution.
A regas is the removal of old refrigerant gas from the system and replacing and recharging it, along with the lubricant and in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, so that the air runs cold again. (By the way, vehicles made from 2017 onwards are legally obliged to use a new type of refrigerant.)
While DIY kits are available, they save you almost nothing compared with getting a specialist to do the job. What’s more, if something goes wrong, you could be left with a pricey bill, or there could be safety issues. (Refrigerant can cause painful freeze burns if it gets on your skin or in your eyes.) Equally, if there are any other problems with the air con system, a professional will be able to put them right.
Most manufacturers suggest getting the air con serviced every couple of years, although many drivers wait until there’s no cold air coming through before taking action. But it’s really not worth putting it off—as well as creating an uncomfortable travelling environment, poorly working air conditioning makes it harder to demist windows in winter, and may mean the engine has to work harder, so fuel consumption rises. Additionally, pipes in the system could crack, or parts seize up.
A faulty air conditioner won’t affect your car’s MOT, but it can affect the comfort of you and your passengers. It’s worth keeping your air conditioning running at its optimum performance as the impact it can have on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency could significantly affect the day-to-day cost of your motoring.
If your AC has stopped working correctly and you notice that the air conditioning in your car isn’t providing the usual levels of cold air as normal, it’s probably time for a regas.
It’s true that most general car services don’t cover air conditioning, but any garage should be able to do a straightforward air con service and regas for you at an affordable price. They will probably want to do a pre-service inspection first, and any repairs needed as a result are usually billed for separately.
The inspection should include looking out for any cracks or leaks that could hinder the system’s efficient working.
Try and use the system all year round to keep it running smoothly, and consider an anti-bacterial clean if musty smells are emerging from the vents—your garage or workshop should also offer this. Additionally, change the cabin filter regularly.
Fiat Automobiles is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, originally established over 100 years ago in July 1899, and is a subsidiary of FCA Italy (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).
There are around 890k Fiat cars on the road in the UK. Their popularity as a modern car supplier grew through the 1990s and peaked around the current number in the mid-2000s, where it has remained constant over the past 10 years.
As a long established and easily recognised brand, a large part of their success can be put down to their historical models and retro styling.
Fiat is renowned for providing unique styling associated with Italian car design, yet without the hefty sports car price tag.
The Fiat 500 is possibly one of the most easily recognised cars in the world and a true piece of iconic car culture. Despite looking virtually the same as it did at its introduction in 1957, the latest model featured over 1,800 updates to its previous version, making sure it stands its ground in a modern car buyer’s market.
When you visit Fiat’s website, you’ll be presented with bright, punchy colours and slogans, suggesting a younger feel and a driving culture based around a carefree life in the now. Riding the on-going success of the 500 and their strength in the city car market, Fiat has added the 500L and 500X to their current range; mini SUV and MPV offerings that build on the styling and popularity of the 500. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a smart way to break into new markets with a trusted and recognisable brand.
Fiat ranked 14th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. They are a well-established manufacturer who carries a reputation for style and keeping up with current trends, but under the watchful eye of a parent company who also owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Jeep and Maserati, their experience and wealth of industry knowledge is greater than first appears.
Various recalls have been made on Fiat models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
The handbrake efficiency could be lost
The steering column adjustment could release
If rear seat belts are not fastened and pretensioners are deployed the latch could be released
Engine suspension reaction bracket not fitted on the transmission side
Door locks may malfunction and allow doors to open unintentionally
Intercooler sleeve may detach from the throttle body
Instrument cluster may display incorrect information
Replace electrical power steering
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.
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